NFL Wild-Card Weekend Pre-Gamin': Colts at Texans, Seahawks at Cowboys, Chargers at Ravens

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NFL Wild-Card Weekend Pre-Gamin’: Colts at Texans, Seahawks at Cowboys, Chargers at Ravens

Chicago Bears

The NFL Playoffs are here, but the Chicago Bears don’t play until Sunday. It’s a good news-bad news situation, but I’m sure the Bears will make it worth your while tomorrow if you behave and show just a hint of patience.

Three games will have been played before Bears-Eagles kicks off as the final game of Wild-Card Weekend. I feel as each of these games alone could serve as a decent enough primer for fans who are itching for postseason football. But that they all come before the Bears play allows for ample time to get dialed in for the big one.

AFC Game #1

Indianapolis Colts (10-6, 2nd AFC South) at Houston Texans (11-5, 1st AFC North) – 3:30 p.m. CT, ESPN/ABC

Site: NRG Stadium, Houston

Referee and crew: Bill Vinovich (referee), Bruce Stritesky (umpire), Rusty Baynes (line judge), Jimmy Buchanan (field judge), Brad Freeman (side judge), Greg Steed (back judge), Kevin Codey (down judge)

Odds: Texans (-1.5), Over/Under 48.5 via the Westgate Superbook.

Coaches

Colts Frank Reich (10-6) vs. Texans Bill O’Brien (42-38)

Starting Quarterbacks

Colts: Andrew Luck: 4,593 yards, 39 TD, 15 Int, 67.3 completion pct., 98.7 rating

versus

Texans: Deshaun Watson: 4,165 yards, 26 TD, 9 Int, 68.3 completion pct., 103.1 rating

Quick Hit: Colts-Texans is set for the final showdown of a trilogy between two AFC South rivals. Each team has three-point wins on each other’s home turf. So advantage Colts?


NFC Game #2

Seattle Seahawks (10-6, 2nd NFC West) at Dallas Cowboys  (10-6, 1st NFC East) – 7:15 p.m. CT, FOX

Site: AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas

Referee and crew: Walt Anderson (referee), Carl Paganelli (umpire), Gary Arthur (line judge), Terry Brown (field judge), Adrian Hill (side judge), Scott Helverson (back judge), David Oliver (down judge)

Odds: Cowboys (-2.5), Over/Under 43.5 via the Westgate Superbook.

Coaches

Seahawks Pete Carroll (122-85-1) vs. Cowboys Jason Garrett (77-59)

Starting Quarterbacks

Seahawks: Russell Wilson: 3,448 yards, 35 TD, 7 Int, 65.6 completion pct., 110.9 rating

versus

Cowboys: Dak Prescott: 3,885 yards, 22 TD, 8 Int, 67.7 completion pct., 96.9 rating

Quick Hit: The Seahawks escaped with a 9-point home win in against the Cowboys in Week 3, but these two teams have evolved since. Seattle’s defense has improved and its running game with Chris Carson is healthy. Dallas’ offense is still by top rusher Ezekiel Elliott, but it has a different dynamic since adding Amari Cooper to the mix. This one could come down to Dak Prescott engineering a late-game scoring drive.


AFC Game #2

Los Angeles Chargers (12-4, 2nd AFC West) vs. Baltimore Ravens (10-6, 1st AFC North) – Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT, CBS

Site: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

Referee and crew: Clete Blakeman (referee), Bryan Neale (umpire), Byron Boston (line judge), Tom Hill (field judge), Gary Cavaletto (side judge), Greg Meyer (back judge), Patrick Turner (down judge)

Odds: Ravens (-2.5), Over/Under 41.5 via the Westgate Superbook.

Coaches

Chargers Anthony Lynn (21-12) vs. Ravens John Harbaugh (104-72)

Starting Quarterbacks

Chargers: Philip Rivers: 4,308 yards, 32 TD, 12 Int, 68.3 completion pct., 105.5 rating

versus

Ravens: Lamar Jackson: 1,201 yards, 6 TD, 3 Int, 58.2 completion pct., 84.5 rating

Quick Hit: The Chargers won 12 games and all they have to show for it is a road playoff game on the east coast. It’s an early start that will feel earlier for Chargers players and fans because the game is set to kick off at 10:05 a.m. out west. That’s no fun for the ol’ body clock. The Ravens won the regular season matchup in Los Angeles and enter the playoffs feeling all the good vibes after sneaking in at the last possible moment.

I’m not sure there is a quarterback with more pressure on him this weekend than Philip Rivers, who unlike draft classmates Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring. On the other hand, I don’t think there is a quarterback with less pressure than Lamar Jackson, who is essentially playing with house money.

Game Thread

Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun. And hopefully, we’ll see you tomorrow for Bears-Eagles.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.